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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default Cynics shouldn’t be Writing Superman.

    The character is too optimistic, and idealistic for most modern writers, so we wind up with a bunch of stories about breaking down the tropes of the Superman myth. Batman fits the general world view of most modern writers better, that’s why he has overtaken Superman in recent years.

    Superman, and Shazam are “child-like wonder,” characters and increasingly that is something that modern superhero writers find hard to write.
    Last edited by mathew101281; 11-11-2019 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The character is too optimistic, and idealistic for most modern writers, so we wind up with a bunch of stories about breaking down the tropes of the Superman myth. Batman fits the general world view of most modern writers better, that’s why he has overtaken Superman in recent years.

    Superman, and Shazam are “child-like wonder,” characters and increasingly that is something that modern superhero writers find hard to write.
    I strongly disagree with you that superman is a child-like wonder!! When I read a superman comic or watch a superman movie it's refreshing!! It's refreshing to have a character that is optimistic and idealistic, that give people hope!! I'm not a big fan of Batman!! I don't like his darkness!
    Last edited by lotchj; 11-11-2019 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    How are we defining cynics here?

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Garth Ennis of all people wrote a great Superman so I kind of disagree? And Hickman is a pretty cynical writer who I think could write an amazing Superman given his Sun God and Hyperion.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Garth Ennis of all people wrote a great Superman so I kind of disagree? And Hickman is a pretty cynical writer who I think could write an amazing Superman given his Sun God and Hyperion.
    Maybe cynics who know when it is appropriate to be cynical and when not to be? if given the chance, Ennis and Hickman might be able to do it. I would especially love if the latter came to DC to write Superman after he's done with the X-Men.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    A cynical guy is welcome so long as he can write a character who falls outside his own world view.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The character is too optimistic, and idealistic for most modern writers, so we wind up with a bunch of stories about breaking down the tropes of the Superman myth. Batman fits the general world view of most modern writers better, that’s why he has overtaken Superman in recent years.

    Superman, and Shazam are “child-like wonder,” characters and increasingly that is something that modern superhero writers find hard to write.
    Read the first 10 issues of action comics or superman and say that to me again. Superman is child like wonder when taken in that context like tbe fleischer cartoons.

  8. #8
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a whole type of people who shouldn't write a character, but defensive writing for Superman is one of my least favorite things. If a depiction boils down to "nuh uh he's cool see?!" I see it as an uphill battle. There are people who won't like him, but don't worry about that.
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  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I don't think there's a whole type of people who shouldn't write a character, but defensive writing for Superman is one of my least favorite things. If a depiction boils down to "nuh uh he's cool see?!" I see it as an uphill battle. There are people who won't like him, but don't worry about that.
    I agree with this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The character is too optimistic, and idealistic for most modern writers, so we wind up with a bunch of stories about breaking down the tropes of the Superman myth. Batman fits the general world view of most modern writers better, that’s why he has overtaken Superman in recent years.

    Superman, and Shazam are “child-like wonder,” characters and increasingly that is something that modern superhero writers find hard to write.
    Superman writers just aren't willing to crack down when writers for other characters try and push the Man of Steel around. As long as he continues to behave like a whipped dog he'll continue to flounder. Supergirl, Batman, Green Arrow whoever if they take a shot a Superman then the Superman writers have to be willing to take a shot back maybe two. Somehow, someway modern writers have conflated nice with weak; it is a very American thing where bad attitudes and rude behavior are seen as essential to getting respect. Batman has wildly popularized this mindset and Superman has in his own way played the part of helping by being Bruce's occasional whipping boy with the current Batman/Superman comic being an example of this.

    Japanese writers never seem to make this conflation, look at Luffy. Good-natured guy, but no one has ever considered him weak.
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  11. #11
    Incredible Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Best characterization of Superman comes from Morrison. His All Star Supes was so good natured even when he was openly challenged he treated them as a caring parent to a loving child.

    This is how he should be portrayed, never angry just disappointed. When Lex finally sees as "The Superman" does, he realizes how wrong he was just like a child comes to the realization when they are wrong and their parent is right.

  12. #12
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I don't think there's a whole type of people who shouldn't write a character, but defensive writing for Superman is one of my least favorite things. If a depiction boils down to "nuh uh he's cool see?!" I see it as an uphill battle. There are people who won't like him, but don't worry about that.
    I don't know - I have a whole type of people who shouldn't write Superman: WB executives. lol
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  13. #13
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I don't think there's a whole type of people who shouldn't write a character, but defensive writing for Superman is one of my least favorite things. If a depiction boils down to "nuh uh he's cool see?!" I see it as an uphill battle. There are people who won't like him, but don't worry about that.
    This. I think the only people who shouldn't write for characters are one who hate them inherently and want to mangle them into what makes them appealing for said writer. If you're a cynic, but you can appreciate what Superman represents and think he's an exception, go for it. Ennis writes a pretty good Superman when he's trying. If your mantra going in is "my source material/IP sucks and I need to fix it," you're probably not going to do a great job. If you're going in thinking "well, this guy is probably a bit too naive, but perhaps I can have him meet my world view and see why he can continue being himself in light of my perspective" then there's absolutely merit in writing that story.

    Let's not forget that every time Clark is holding a collapsing building up, he's probably hearing someone burn to death in an electrical fire. He can't save everyone, but he tries and continues to believe in the better of us even though he can probably hear a sexual assault happening while he's helping evacuate said burning building. He knows awful things happen. I think it was Garth Ennis who wrote that Superman had to look someone in the eye as they died while they had complete faith he'd save them. That's a very cynical moment where Clark came through perfectly.

    Cynics absolutely should write Superman, as should optimists. The more view points we use to chisel away at Clark, the more clearly we can refine him as a character. The devil is in the details. When that chisel becomes a sledgehammer, we have a problem. The point is to flesh him out, not strip him down.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    Superman writers just aren't willing to crack down when writers for other characters try and push the Man of Steel around. As long as he continues to behave like a whipped dog he'll continue to flounder. Supergirl, Batman, Green Arrow whoever if they take a shot a Superman then the Superman writers have to be willing to take a shot back maybe two. Somehow, someway modern writers have conflated nice with weak; it is a very American thing where bad attitudes and rude behavior are seen as essential to getting respect. Batman has wildly popularized this mindset and Superman has in his own way played the part of helping by being Bruce's occasional whipping boy with the current Batman/Superman comic being an example of this.

    Japanese writers never seem to make this conflation, look at Luffy. Good-natured guy, but no one has ever considered him weak.
    Luffy is allowed to be a pirate with all the bad associated with it. He is dangerous. He is allowed to be. Superman hasn't been allowed to be dangerous since ages. Morrison tried it. It was rejected . Heck! People rarely admit the guy is a vigilante. Superman is turned into messianic figure.That isn't just good it's holy. He doesn't have to make tough choices or content with the opposition. He "finds a way" . All superman has to do is caricaturise the arguments of the opposition and make them the 'bad guys'. Have the great hero triumph over the foolish misguided opponent to show how great he is. This is what superman has been turned into last two or three decades. Look at superman and the elite. Atleast batman contents with his opponents arguments. Spiderman is ridiculed for being a vigilante. But, superman doesn't have any of those.Writers only seem to want to make him more holy. I have serious reservations regarding it. I have rarely seen people complain that all might isn't relatable. All might a character based on superman. But, with superman there is hundreds of complaints for and against a particular choice. Superman shouldn't be this or that... Etc.

  15. #15
    Mighty Member Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Luffy is allowed to be a pirate with all the bad associated with it. He is dangerous. He is allowed to be.
    Oh, please. I admit I dropped off One Piece relatively early, but show me where Luffy pillages port towns, has a child in every port that he'll never be a father to, wantonly murders if it garners him profit and is willing to murder crew for betrayal, dissent or a show of force.

    Luffy is a generic Shonen protagonist, or was for the few years I read him. He's not actually a pirate by any real stretch of the word. Everything Luffy does is about adventure, his friends and he never royally screws people for his own ends unless they really have it coming. He's sanitized as hell. If you download a Lady Gaga song you're probably more of a pirate than Monkey D. Luffy is.

    I have never understood conflating American superhero comics with manga because the former are often the sum of hundreds of different creative visions that coalesce into a singular concept whereas manga generally has one creator that tells the story. They're completely different beasts. The comparisons are pretty weak because one can have a unifying theme that nobody overturns. All Might is absolutely based on Superman to some degree, but given he's going to have exactly one writer for the duration of his narrative, of course he'll have a more focused portrayal that everyone can generally agree upon-- there's only one! The same goes for Batman, Spider-Man and so-on. They will never be apt comparisons because there are significantly more interpretations based on the teams weaving their stories.

    I hate Frank Miller's Batman outside Year One and the first half of DKR, but he's Batman just as much as my beloved Denny O'Neil era Bruce Wayne. Who is your favorite Luffy, Eiichiro Oda's or Eiichiro Oda's?
    Last edited by Robanker; 11-11-2019 at 11:02 PM.

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